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Winning with partners is key to winning with customers, and requires effective channel management. Learn how to build and manage your channel ecosystem.

The holiday card list. For the past 20 years, I’ve summarized my approach to channel management as being someone you want to add to your holiday card list. It’s time to elaborate.

The conversation was always about success of the partnership. To me, the key driver is the channel partner’s organic growth. If my product is essential to what your firm provides its clients Monday through Friday, then I’ll be part of the organic growth sales goals. I never wanted my product to be flavor of the month or part of a SPIFF or short-term sales promotion. But even better: If my product helps drive organic growth, you reach performance goals faster, with no wasted motion. Your clients buy more of what they need from one vendor instead of several. That’s how I get on a holiday card list.

Some dislike channel models for the level of control in a matrix environment. I love the model. Product Development is spurred by input from multiple, invested partners. Sales & Marketing reach is clearly magnified. Even the Accounting process is enjoyable, knowing each invoice tells a story of profitable contribution the channel partner’s revenue picture. We rely heavily on the channel partnership model at International Screening Solutions. Our products for global due diligence, employment screening, and risk management are sold almost exclusively through partners. The model works so well that when ISS launched WorldWatch Plus global sanctions, PEP, and adverse media data in 2015, it was an immediate fit for our best customers.

This article by Richard Flynn at The Spur Group does a nice job discussing five fundamentals of successful channel partnerships. Read the full article at: www.thespurgroup.com  I enjoying reading anything on the topic, almost as much as I enjoy getting those holiday cards.

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